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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami-Dade County began a machine recount Monday in the House District 118 race between Democrat Robert Asencio and Republican David Rivera, who trailed in the final vote by 68 votes, a tenth of a percentage point.

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Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered the recount on Friday.

“State law requires that if two candidates are a half of a percent or less difference between the two of them, then an automatic recount is triggered,” said Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Christina White.

Both candidates were there Monday as the ballots were recounted.

“I feel very confident. We have a good lead. The voters have spoken and they’ve elected me and I’m very confident and thankful for that,” said Asencio.

“The most important thing that can happen today is to make sure that all the votes are counted. There were over 100 ballots in this race that were absentee ballots that were rejected by the elections department,”said Rivera.

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The supervisor of elections addressed claims that some ballots were declined because signatures did not match.

“Those voters had an opportunity to correct those issues and state law is very specific. Those affidavits would have been needed in our office by 5 p.m. the Monday before elections so that deadline, unfortunately, has passed,” said White.

The race is so close, in fact, that elections officials say it will almost certainly require a second recount. If, after the machine recount, the candidates are still less than a quarter of a percentage point apart, state law says so-called “under” and “over” votes be counted by hand.

An “over” vote, in this case, would be one that would go unrecorded because a tabulation machine concluded it was marked for both candidates. An “under” vote is unrecorded because the machine concludes that it wasn’t marked for either candidate. In the hand recounts, the over- and under-votes are examined by human inspectors to see if the machines might have goofed.

Robert Asencio is retired Miami-Dade Schools police sergeant and Rivera is a former Congressman ousted after a scandal over illicit campaign contributions.

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